Susan Fowler: Why I Wrote the Uber Memo

I was terrified of being labeled “that woman who was sexually harassed.” But I had to speak out.

Comments: 151

  1. As #MeToo founder Tarana Burke recently said “This is not about women finding their voices. We have always had our voices. This is about finding a frequency where we could finally be heard.” High profile women claiming credit for sparking a revolution of women speaking up erases the brave history of countless women who spoke up, were terrorized and gaslighted and never saw justice. Those women seeded the culture that women like this author are benefitting from and we owe them a great deal more than erasing them from history.

  2. Susan is a hero. She's a hero for speaking up. She's a hero for putting her career and life on the line. She is the type of human being we should all strive to be.

  3. You are an American shero, Ms. Fowler. Thank you for for your article and also for your bravery and fortitude. All the best for you and yours. If I were capable of choosing you for an important job I would do so in a heartbeat. Inspiration, gratitude and appreciation spring to mind...

  4. Ms. Fowler, Your name was anonymous to me at the time of your revelations, but not your story or experience of harassment at Uber. You are brave for having experienced it and more brave for having told it. I, for one, am very proud of you for standing up to the injustice and telling of the injustices that many other woman in the tech workforce experience. Congratulations to you and your bravery. I NEVER use Uber services following your story and the ensuing revelations about Uber's toxic culture. A heartfelt thank you to you and Happy Valentines.

  5. @Brian Clarke Same here. #neveruber after Susan.

  6. Silence = complicity. Big fist bump to everyone everywhere who sees or experiences injustice and refuses to remain silent.

  7. @D Price Silence by the victim is not complicity. The victim is often in a powerless position and can be subjected to a lot of personal loss by speaking out. And they might speak out and nothing changes, that is their risk and so speaking out is their decision. The person that abuses their power is the one to blame, not the victim.

  8. @AN Point taken. I certainly didn't mean to victim-blame. I just meant to celebrate people who find a way to come forward. Like Ms. Fowler. And Lt. Col. Vindman.

  9. What Fowler did was incredible and truly brave. But I do think it's kind of sad that a woman who was a software developer and (before that) a physics PhD candidate had to end up making her living off talking / writing about harassment instead of being able to stay in a technical role, fully fitting into the stereotype that women will quickly move out of technical roles because they're better suited at roles involving people and communication. But in Fowler's case, I imagine it was because she couldn't continue her work either in physics or as a software developer due to blacklisting.

  10. @Diana I agree with you 100 percent, great loss to the tech and science. Although i doubt if she applied to Tesla, Google or Facebook they would deny her a job at this point in time.

  11. @Admiral0V I mean, she reported harassment at two separate institutions. And she didn't just focus on sexual harassment, but also the toxic culture at Uber that impacted everyone. It's hard to imagine a big tech company wanted to take on that kind of perceived risk because they probably know that they have pockets of toxic culture and don't want that exposed.

  12. @Diana I see your point, and I am very familiar with corporate risk management strategy. However on good authority I know that tech companies are desperate for women candidates (which is great) and hiring her would be tremendous positive PR.

  13. I’m really sorry for what you’ve been through. Thank you for doing it. I work in software development and want our industry to be better and treat everyone well.

  14. Hats off to you, Susan! You single handedly reformed not only Uber to a great extent, but also tech industry in general from the bro culture. Thank you!

  15. @RR Yep. You're in the pantheon of difference-makers, Susan Fowler.

  16. Physics departments are desperate for female talent. The thing about being blackballed fm Physics doesn’t square

  17. @RobtLaip "being blackballed fm Physics doesn’t square" As you said, they are desperate for female talent. Can you guess why? It is because it is heavily dominated by males. A department that is mostly one type of gender might not be very understanding of issues they haven't dealt with personally. They are more likely to dismiss the issue and blame the victim for misunderstanding the situation.

  18. @RobtLaip Females as talented physicists or female “talent” as in attractive?

  19. @RobtLaip pretty simplistic logic. it kind of excludes every other possible idea in the world.

  20. I’m a female that has worked in tech for 15 yrs. I’ve always worked at large well known multinationals. I’ve never experienced this sort of behavior, only clever professionals. That is until I joined a local tech startup. An HR one at that. It was laughable. Unprofessional & immature from top management down - it was a nightmare. I lasted a yr. I didn’t even mind the non-stop Nerf games. Seems to be the norm. BTW - Employees are also under the miscomprehension that the Compliance and HR depts are there to protect them. Not so. They are there to protect the company. Cause a fuss, & you’re gone.

  21. @Swissy Missy Spot on with the role of HR and Compliance!

  22. I think a few grains of salt are in order.

  23. @Timothy Can you list them?

  24. Women have always had voices. FINALLY, society is ready to listen. Sorta. If you read the comments on her post, however, you hear immediate demands for her to "post the email paper trail." Fowler was immediately disbelieved. Immediately attacked. Immediately harassed. Immediately bullied. Ms Fowler was immediately pushed out of her technical position in Silicon Valley. She found safe harbor at the New YorkTimes, as a writer, but writers make *a fraction* of what good engineers do in silly valley. While journalism is on the decline, the technical fields are on the rise. The NYT is the ionosphere, and a fantastic lateral move for Ms Fowler, it is NOT one the average whistleblower can make. Make no mistake, you cannot eat what Ms Fowler lost from doing what she did. You cannot put it in your 401K. You cannot pay your mortgage with it. She has taken a HUGE financial hit from outing Uber. Her overlords at Uber are still vastly wealthy and their toxic culture has changed not at all.

  25. It's good that she spoke up. It's great that anybody noticed. We don't have to create heroes and icons. We just should appreciate and help if ever in a position to.

  26. The same near-violence happens to black people all the time at work, btw. And the corporate retaliation is nasty, organized, and what's worse - society tolerates it more often.

  27. @Frank: yes, I am a white woman who has been healed over and over again by black friends and co-workers who understand my suffering because they share it. So much suffering caused by privilege given to white men who have done little to earn it. I will work for the time when we are all respected because we are. Sending you love, respect, and kindness.

  28. Thanks!!!!!

  29. An inspiring example... so... readers... so readers, what will YOU do? Today... tomorrow... when you have a choice to be a petty criminal either scheming for a buck or sleazing for a little titillation knowing you will be HURTING someone? Or when you see or hear someone be the petty thug, the abuser of their position? Will you do the right thing? Or wash your hands and pretend blindness? If you're religious will you use it as an excuse or live up to what you claim it really means? If an atheist will you live up to the ethical standards you aspire to or none at all? If your a parent who loves their child will you defend others from being victim of our country's epidemic of horrible self gratification and aggrandizement? Stop others from inflicting their horribleness. At the workplace. In public. With family. In politics - yes, YES in your political tribe .... Don't let yourself be that person either. Stop. Be a decent person. For heavens sake.

  30. I take city licensed cabs.

  31. Wow...an amazing story. Particularly when the media got hold. Glad to know you came out of it ok, and heh, what doesn't kill you will make you stronger. You go sister!

  32. I've worked for Uber, Lyft, Grubhub and Postmates. These companies are scams, they offer big incentives but at the end of the day you end up making "$8" which, once you subtract tax, gas, and wear and tear on your car, you are working for $5 an hour. I quit doing Postmates when, after making $4.33/hr one night I laughed to myself as the sign in the window at the White Castle was offering P/T jobs @ $11/hr. Why kill my car for 1/3 the pay to deliver the burgers when I may as well just stay inside and flip the burgers.

  33. @Nick Could not agree more. Uber, Lyft, Grubhub and postmates are middlemen. even Amazon site featuring sellers is a middleman.No need for the middleman. Go to the source.fOr rideshare/ride hailing, local taxi/car drivers can form a coop and provide the service. Why should someone in CA or Sreattle know taht a middle aged woman in Lansing, MI takes a weekly taxi/car rode to a psychiatrit's office? Keep the business totally local and the drivers are shareholders in the coop. IN teh digital age, no need for the middleman

  34. @Nick This "gig economy" is a giant scam. May all these companies fall and be exposed for what they really are.

  35. @Nick You also have to wonder how it is that companies that have never generated a profit, and have conceded that their business model does not allow them to project a profit, have nevertheless spawned billionaires. Who decided this? It couldn't have been "the market." In the market, they are not making a profit, and their workers are not making a living.

  36. Thank you, Susan, for your bravery.

  37. The ending. The example of White Feminism. She didn't ignite a revolution. A Black woman, Ms. Burke, began the #Metoo movement, yet she was mostly ignored because she was Black. Black women shouting about harassment are never taken seriously nor are they given the opportunity to be given to be just a woman. Maybe, she should use this new calling of hers to help women of color have their voices heard as well.

  38. @Tiffany I don't think Tarana Burke was ignored. She was a little early compared to the deluge of post-Weinstein allegations, but that means she prepared the stage for them, very effectively (it is still amazing to me how fast things changed). Her Wikipedia article is an indication of her being acknowledged.

  39. Thank you, Tiffany! I couldn't help but think the same thing. I have also experienced extensive racial discrimination and harassment at work, but because the type of discrimination and harassment I experienced was racially-motivated, my cries for help and efforts to effect change through HR and legal channels were pointless and led to me being constructively blacklisted from a similarly-insular professional community. The experience had a tremendously negative impact on my physical and met health, my finances, and my career. And I know, with absolute certainty, that I am not alone in my experience. For whatever reason, it seems that our society is better equipped to and more interested in addressing gender-related harassment as it relates to white women than it is in addressing the discrimination, harassment, and subsequent gaslighting that women of color experience, en massé, on a regular basis. Godspeed to Susan, but will there ever be a #MeToo movement around racially-motivated discrimination and harassment of women of color? Sad to say, I highly doubt it.

  40. @Tiffany Thank you, Tiffany! I couldn't help but think the same thing. I have also experienced extensive racial discrimination and harassment at work, but because the type of discrimination and harassment I experienced was racially-motivated, my cries for help and efforts to effect change through HR and legal channels were pointless and led to me being constructively blacklisted from a similarly-insular professional community. The experience had a tremendously negative impact on my physical and mental health, my finances, and my career. And I know, with absolute certainty, that I am not alone in my experience. For whatever reason, it seems that our society is better equipped to and more interested in addressing gender-related harassment as it relates to white women than it is in addressing the discrimination, harassment, and subsequent gaslighting that women of color experience, en masse, on a regular basis. Godspeed to Susan, but will there ever be a #MeToo movement around racially-motivated discrimination and harassment of women of color? Sad to say, I highly doubt it.

  41. Susan thank you so much for your bravery and your courage. We need a lot more people like you in every field and every aspect of life. I'm disappointed you weren't able to continue your career in STEM - what a loss - which shows us we still have a lot of work to do. I'm hoping your story encourages others to come forward, share their stories and make change happen. God, knows we need it. Good luck with this next adventure in your life.

  42. Thank you for your courage. May I have it when I need it.

  43. A magnificent story of guts in the face of injustice. A shining example that, yes, one person can make a difference. So glad she landed on her feet and is doing the work she loves.

  44. I am so sorry for your experience. A company that seemingly tolerates this type of harassment is or should not be a legitimate operation. They should be restrained. I have never used Uber, never will and pretty much any of the other Gig company offerings. They are a terminal cancer on society. The workers don't even make minimum wage to survive, they only have this mythical "freedom." What is this "freedom?" does it pay the bills?

  45. Get an attorney.

  46. Good on you. Good on you...In a world where people confuse lying as loyalty and silence as resistance we need someone to remind us what it is like when you speak the truth.

  47. I am CRYING as I read this. I was so touched by Susan's story when it first came out and this excerpt makes me so so so proud of her and so proud of HUMANITY. Susan exemplifies the bravery and beauty of humanity. IT'S A GOOD THING TO STAND UP FOR YOURSELF AND FOR OTHERS. THIS SHOULD BE CELEBRATED EVERY DAY !!!! In a world hell bent on making brutality and truculence acceptable, Susan brings us back to what REALLY MATTERS!!!!

  48. @Lee Why cry ... do something positive to help the situation.

  49. @Dave Steffe They are not mutually exclusive.

  50. Thank you for your bravery. I too work in IT and this type of behavior is endemic. I've had supervisors, both men and women, who are aggressive, unsocial, nano-managers, fault-finders and much more. Recently, when I reported the behavior to my CTO, she asked me to basically suck it up, and made excuses for my supervisor saying that the supervisor was under a lot of pressure. That's insane. Pressure should not make people turn into psychopaths - they are psychopaths to begin with. I will be quitting soon. More power to the CTO and her crazy reports.

  51. Thank you for your courage. Your narrative has helped young women understand behaviors that are not right at the workplace. It is usually difficult to get this understanding when one is being shut down or gaslighted by supervisors, HR, colleagues and even family. By speaking up, you have made a difference!

  52. You did everything right, including this piece. Maybe I'm different because I was raised by my mother and grandmother--two strong, smart, capable women one raised in the Victorian era and one raised in the period surrounding World War Two. I never understood discrimination against women because I never saw them as inferior to men. Two phrases come to mind. An old French standby is Vive la difference (Hurray for the difference) between women and men. Understood in a modern world, it means that each gender has built-in strengths and we should celebrate both. A Native American thought worth remembering is that before making judgments about anyone, the one judging should first walk a mile in the other person's moccasins. It is a plea for understanding other viewpoints badly needed today. Ms. Fowler has captured both thoughts in her essay, which should be required reading for every man, woman and early teen in America.

  53. It is not overstatement to say you saved the world with that blog post — and hey, thanks for that, by the way — but your words here, reminding us all that goodness and doing good aren’t easy but always necessary, are exactly what I needed to hear right now. And thank you, thank you, thank you for that.

  54. If every position you take ends with "harassment " and filing of grievances, you gotta ask yourself - maybe its not them - maybe its me?

  55. @Dan No, Dan. She was in physics in grad school. I’ve witnessed the misogyny in male dominated fields. It’s brutal. Then, she went into tech, another male-dominated field. I am sure she asked herself if it was just something about herself— probably over and over again. That’s how insidious the harassment is - it makes women doubt themselves in ways you can’t imagine, Dan. However, other women came forward revealing the behavior was pervasive, so don’t blame this victim.

  56. @Dan Speaking as a man, I don't feel a man can have any idea of the conditions women, especially young women, face and fear every day, at work, in the subway, in any interaction with males. Your comment strikes me as unfounded victim blaming.

  57. @Dan, What if YOU experienced harassment and discrimination in every job you've ever had? Can't imagine that? Don't think it's possible? Well let me tell you: if you were a woman, chances are that's what you would experience. I've experienced it - and every woman I know has as well. Every. woman. I. know. I've never worked in an overwhelmingly male-dominated field and I still experienced it. I did originally study for a career in science - but decided not to pursue it when I saw that women were relegated to the hard detail work that paid poorly despite requiring advanced degrees. I'm glad that women such as Ms. Fowler are speaking up and filing lawsuits and where necessary, criminal complaints. It takes courage to do that - it means being attacked, further harassed, stalked, having your online accounts hacked, your privacy invaded - even death threats. And being victim-blamed by clueless guys like you.

  58. Reading this and remembering, ...... Working at a Taco Bell, in my late forties, a young co-worker asked me, (exact words) "Is it like this everywhere?" (referring to the power struggle, pettiness, gossip, backstabbing, etc) To which I answered, "Yup."

  59. There is always two sides to every story. Michael in bx

  60. @Michael Michalofsky, What "other side to the story" is there when someone's immediate supervisor propositions them on their first day on the job - by email - which means it's documented? What's the "other side to the story" when several of your colleagues also have experienced harassment and mistreatment so severe that they're experiencing depression, stress, and PTSD symptoms? What's the "other side of the story" that could possibly justify any of these actions and treatment by Uber management?

  61. @doy1 - They are likely hinting that "they had it coming". The "two sides" argument in such cases are that she brushed her hair, for instance, ergo she was inviting such abuse.

  62. @Michael Michalofsky No there aren't. Sexual harassment and assault are one-sided -- a male boss with economic power over an employee exerts that power to dominate that employee sexually. It is a one-way street.

  63. The men I know who are in STEM are driven to create something that makes them money. They have no other skills: managerial or social. In the social arena, they were always losers, before and during their founding of the next great thing. Suddenly they have power over women, and they use it, to everyone's detriment. But hey! Gotta use that power over women while they have it, right? I've been the CEO of companies since I was 28. In my forty years I have had many women I could count on to see my vision and work to achieve it. They only wanted to work, to shine, to feel that their work made products better, and made the vision of the company better and broader, more attune to society's ills. I also made mistakes. Women bristled when I opened doors for them, pulled chairs out for them, offered them an arm on an icy sidewalk, basically did anything they could do for themselves. I was not their lover. I was their colleague. Here's the point: If you have a worker who can do things you can't, who is more valuable to your company's future than you can pay them in your company's present, why would you ruin that relationship and jeopardize your company's future simply because you have what will ultimately be a temporary power over them. They also have a power over you. There have been many cases of late that proves this.

  64. @Edward Opening doors for people and offering an arm on an icy sidewalk, are not bad things to do - I am a woman, and I do these courtesies for all people. Men holding packages. Another woman who arrived at the same I did at the door. Etc. It’s a way to be kind and to show respect. Let’s not confuse courtesy with misogyny. It’s also how the act is done. If it’s done with condescension, that’s another matter. You sound lovely. Your point about how these men who harass lose good valuable employees is on target.

  65. @Retired educator, In the workplace, you treat your colleagues with respect as colleagues. Pulling out a chair for a female colleague IS a condescending act - especially at a meeting. Ask yourself, would a man pull out a chair for another man? Same thing with offering an arm on an icy sidewalk: would a man offer an arm to another man? Not likely, right? Holding a door, OTOH, is a common courtesy extended by anyone to anyone - big difference.

  66. @Edward - Your post sounds like bigoted fan fiction, as if it's just some easily denigrated cadre of faux valuable who are responsible. As if. Sexual harassment happens everywhere, by every category of person, to the point that some of them become president of the US of A.

  67. While I don't even remotely question Ms. Fowler's horrific experience at Uber, and am fully aware of the myriad unsettling claims against the company on whole, I nonetheless have to take significant issue with a claim that AFAIK hasn't ever previously been raised in any media forum: "Although I’d left the company, I was still in touch with a number of my former co-workers. I knew they were experiencing the same kind of discrimination, retaliation and abuse that I’d witnessed and experienced ... One of them had even taken his life." Fowler's original blog post detailed the extreme degrees of sexual misconduct taking place at Uber. It outlined a culture dominated by "tech bros" who acted unconscionably towards female employees. What it did not do, however, is suggest that men were apparently subject to at least some forms of abuse as well – to such an extreme extent that one of Fowler's male coworkers took his own life. Blaming suicides on *any* third party – regardless of any alleged levels of abuse – is troubling in and of itself: it's both an incredibly painful, as well as personal, ordeal, and one that's rarely the result of a single external factor. Blaming Uber for "causing" suicides on bases that don't fit with the publicly known facts is, if anything, worse, and I'm not seeing how such allegations are appropriate in the newspaper of record – even for an op-ed piece – without knowing at least some of the alleged context.

  68. @Jeff Sure there are many factors leading someone to commit suicide. Still putting someone "over the top" should make you liable. The question is in the absence of the harassment and retaliation would that person kill him/herself. I feel that retaliation is probably worse that the harassment itself as it is systemic way to make the person complaining an outcast (socially isolation, removal of responsibilities and work). Isolation is a form of torture, the goal is to have the people complaining quit. Unfortunately if you are already to badly damaged, you can't fake it well enough during competitive interviews where there are 300 applicants for the one job.

  69. "Still putting someone 'over the top' should make you liable." @Joel Actually, this is exactly what I'm talking about: it's offensive to suggest any single causal factor "puts someone 'over the top'," let alone literally "holding them liable" for it. By extension this infers that in the instance of someone taking their own life primarily in response to troubles in their marriage, their spouse should be "blamed." As someone who's suffered through several friends & loved ones committing suicide during my lifetime, I'm all too aware that severe depression or other forms of mental illness are responsible for most of the "blame" in any given instance – which I put in quotes because it's very rarely the result of any *one* causal factor. Rather, it's a combination of things, and as such it's inherently highly problematic to assign any such blame either haphazardly or without knowing the full extent of the situation. In this case, Ms. Fowler apparently heard about a former coworker's suicide either second- or third-hand, meaning she has no specific knowledge of the circumstances. As such, "blaming Uber" is just as problematic as blaming any other employer would be. (And the abuses documented at Uber aren't out of line with how Silicon Valley's "move fast & break things" culture on whole: both sexism & general psychological abuse of employees are, sadly, all too common – and I'd assume suicides are as well.)

  70. @Jeff I can't remember the details but there was a recent case in France where the government and CEO of a company were found guilty of murder by causing the suicides of multiple employees because of harassment. The new management practices were started in order to make the company profitable. It's hard to imagine a similar guilty verdict in the US where profit is more important than human values.

  71. You’re a hero. Thank you for what you did. I NEVER use Uber and never will again.

  72. Thanks for sharing how you got to point of getting the courage of speaking out about your experience of sexual harassment and the toxic corporate culture that enable this kind of behavior to go unchallenged. Good you got out before the hurt from the harassment and the retaliation drove you to depression and self harm. Better yet, you found the strength to put our neck out to protect others. One very sad thing is that professional women deeply invested in there careers are having this investment used to cower them into silence. Even world class scientists cannot not speak up publicly about corporate coverup of abuse without putting their decades long investment in a career into the trash. It is specially hard for people that work to gain power and respect to become powerless in the face of sexual harassment coverup. The mental health stigma is another problem for victims. Fighting HR and lawyers would drive anyone creasy, specially after they are injured. Who's ready to trusts leading of $100s million projects to someone that suffered a nervous breakdown recovered from PTSD ? For every story that gets out many stories are untold because of this.

  73. This capitalist/corporatist world's priorities are out of whack. The portrayal of people who accumulate piles of rectangular slips of green paper as heroes is gross. Silicon Valley's bro culture would be an embarrassing joke if it wasn't so destructive. Any guy who gets off on gender/power politics is disturbed, or is at least a shallow jerk.

  74. Best of luck as a writer. This seems beautifully written and resonant with depth and balance to me. Knock wood. I only know about movies as a consumer but I’d think someone with a knack for writing screenplays could turn your essay into a pretty good movie, and here’s hoping that if that happens the depth and balance come along for the ride.

  75. Susan deserves our collective praise for speaking up. I would add to her list of morning inspirations the lyrics of the song “Impossible Dream” from “The Man of La Mancha,” which in part mention a willingness to march into Hell for a Heavenly cause. ALL people deserve a safe and motivating work environment with equal opportunities for advancement based on actual performance.

  76. Anyone who expects help from HR with a problem like this one is beyond naive. HR always exists to protect the interests of the company, not it's employees. Better to find an experienced lawyer that deals with these types of issues -

  77. @Anne Yes, they should call it CR - Corporate Resources, instead of HR - for that is what it really is - resources to protect the corporation all all costs.

  78. @Anne No she was not naïve just smart. The first question she would have been asked in court in cross-examination would have been whether she contacted HR first to seek a resolution. You have to go through the channels even if they get you nowhere, every bozo knows that.

  79. We are so glad you did as well, thank you for your courage, and what an incredible story. The physics world lost a mighty asset. shame on UPenn.

  80. Thank you for your courage Ms. Fowler. The question of whether or not experiences like yours will be taken seriously will be on the ballot on Super Tuesday, March 3, when voters will have an opportunity to vote for New York's former Republican billionaire mayor, Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg has a long and well-documented history of abusive language and behavior directed at women. The culture at the company that is the source of his fortune sounds very much like what you describe at Uber. None of this is a secret to the prominent Democratic elected officials who have recently endorsed Bloomberg or to the members of the Democratic National Committee who just bent the rules so that he might appear on the Democratic debate stage. That the accusations against Bloomberg are somewhat less egregious than those against Trump should not cause anyone to think that they are not serious. Literally dozens of women have come forward to describe harassment and humiliation, often in the presence of many witnesses. In its desperation "Stop Sanders," the Democratic establishment is contemplating throwing the millions of women who have come forward to say #MeToo under the bus. (They are making a similar calculation with respect to the hundreds of thousands of innocent young Black and Latino men who had to endure the racist reign of police terror known under the innocuous-sounding practice of "Stop and Frisk.") This is a recipe for handing Trump 4 more years.

  81. @Christopher I am appalled & offended by your coopting Susan Fowler's account of her courageous behavior in the face of corporate misogyny for your own political agenda. You refer to "well documented" abusive language & behavior on Bloomberg's part but provide no such documentation. It is extremely dangerous to compare anyone's behavior to Trump's outrageous disrespect for women. Are you, sir, by any chance a member of the "Bernie bro" fraternity?

  82. @Belinda Whitmore I suggest you do some homework. 1) The Bernie Bro accusations have been uncovered as a myth -- women make up more of Bernie's supporters than men. Check this link. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/gyzjmb/bernie-bros-women-under-45-make-up-a-larger-share-of-bernie-sanders-base-than-men 2) There is plenty of documentation of Bloomberg's sexism. See the "Outright Misogynist" section here. https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/02/a-republican-plutocrat-tries-to-buy-the-democratic-nomination

  83. I'm female and worked in IT in the late 1980s when it was all on a mainframe. I remember the male co-workers having posters of totally naked women all over their office walls. At least there has been some progress.

  84. @Texan Many years ago I experienced this, and I was vastly amused at the horror expressed by male colleagues when I suggested that I would post nude males in my office. Sadly, such pictures were not readily available in those pre-internet days. I had to settle for Michelangelo's David. But it would have been wonderful had I been able to carry it off. In my experience, men are far less comfortable with images of male nudity than women are when confronted with female nudity. Nothing about this negates the real horrors of predatory sexual behaviour in the workplace, though. And of course the bullying and demeaning and overlooking of women is still as prevalent as it was decades ago. Each new generation of men seems to be better at not behaving badly towards women, until they reach positions of power, and then the nasty games begin anew.

  85. An incredibly frustrating part of her story is how precise, exacting, and over-explanatory she had to be in writing her original blog post in order for her story to be viewed as credible. She had to dumb down her experience and take out her emotional response for fear of being dismissed. To write something so detached must have taken a lot of effort; to take her emotions out of the experience of being mistreated and having her career threatened must have taken a lot of self-restraint. She had (and has) every right to be upset and angry, yet showing either emotion would have been seen as weakness. It disgusts me that we see so many examples of men acting on impulse with no self-control (read: emotionally!) without any fear of being labeled hysterical or ruining their reputations/careers.

  86. @Kate Interesting point, however, when I read her initial blog post it struck me as being written by a fact-based, technically competent scientist-engineer. Leaving out emotion is what we do when making a case for something. Clearly she is well-suited for those fields, and it's a crime she was chased out of them. I'm glad she was able use her undeniable gifts to effect some change, and to make some malefactors pay the price into the bargain.

  87. Good for you and for all the untold victims of harassment at work. I hope the unintended consequence of your bravery was more and better job offers that you imagined.

  88. @Steve L She ended up switching career fields several times due to harassment. First, she left a physics program at an Ivy League university, Penn. Then she left the tech sector due to her blog posting about Uber. It sounds as if she were driven from the field and couldn't be hired in tech. (Note: both of these are STEM fields). She is now working as a writer.

  89. Uber has shown itself ruthless towards its employees, contemptuous of regulation, and vindictive towards whistleblowers. I wonder how many millennials (or members of Generation Y, or Z, etc.) get outraged over Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, loudly support #Metoo, then call an Uber to get to the movies, because it's cool, digital, and convenient.

  90. Uber’s exploitative corporate culture has been well known for years and Travis Kalanick is its prime exemplar, setting the tone - the saying ‘the fish stinks from the head down’ applies to its corporate culture. Why try to seek employment there to begin with?

  91. Uber was essentially unethical even illegal in their disruption of the existing system to license cabs. Not that long ago it was unthinkable to call a stranger to come pick you up and deliver you somewhere. Why? because you can't trust strangers with the safe handling of your body. Seems that applies even when you work for Uber. Just because you report to someone at work doesn't make them anything more than a stranger whose ethics and motives are in question. Especially at an organization whose mission is based on unethical illegal bullying tactics.

  92. People need to understand that HR exists to protect the company and it’s execs, and NOT the employees.

  93. Guys, if it’s something you wouldn’t say to your mom or sister, don’t say it. Pretty simple.

  94. @Ko I think that a better test might be “if you wouldn’t say it to your male coworkers” or maybe even “your boss”.

  95. Susan, You are a deep thinking well rounded individual who has been met with abusers that sadly run the world. I’ve been in your position, but during an era where speaking up itself was considered the worst crime. Anxiety and fear of loss of my livelihood silenced me. I’m so happy to be alive during the #metoo era and see the younger generation fight back. I say video tape, record, document and loudly shame the bullies!

  96. @DrNelly Yeah. Get LOUD. Being loud and indignant puts your protests on the moral high ground. We teach girls to be quiet and discreet but that's a huge mistake. I know the fear of reprisals comes from a real danger but when you can...get LOUD!

  97. Read Bad Blood about Theranos - another company who deployed dirty tricks, harassment and intimidation to silence people who spoke about the lying, cheating and defrauding of investors.

  98. Ms. Fowler, As a woman who’s worked in tech for the past 20 years, 15 in San Francisco I know exactly what you’re talking about. You’re writing about your experience is extremely valuable. Yet there is a solution to workplace abuse, it’s known as WORKING REMOTE. When you work from home you are shielded from abuse. Your colleagues interact with you online, so every chat is visible and recorded. When you work from home everyone’s work is tracked, and recorded. There’s little opportunity to get away with inappropriate comments let alone harassment. I have found that it is far easier to manipulate and coerce people in person. People with power over me, if they want to manipulate, always do it over a phone call or in a private conversation. For example my male colleague would yell at me so long as nobody else was in earshot. I had to insist someone else attend online meetings with the two of us to shut down this behavior. I know that any other tech professional will back me up about the benefits of working remote. Ironically the biggest abusers, the most incompetent managers will insist on NO remote employees. That should tell you something. Remote work is the future. - User Experience Expert

  99. That’s might be a solution to an immediate individual problem, but at best it’s a sidestep, and obviously not a solution for those who aren’t able to work remotely. Why should anyone, male or female, have to choose to work remote to avoid behavior that shouldn’t be happening in the first place?

  100. @Christine According to Dice 90% of tech professionals would prefer to work remote. I like going into the office, but I am a lot more productive and less stressed when I work from home. Try it out.

  101. @Enjoy The Kitchen i am happy that you enjoy your kitchen, but i suggest keeping in mind the article was written by the author of “Whistleblower: My Journey to Silicon Valley and Fight for Justice at Uber” First this was not an option for this woman at the time, or most others in most businesses. You are fortunate. Second, can you appreciate that a society where half must live in their kitchens to feel respected is not a widely valued aspiration? i commend Ms Fowler for pursuing her values with courage. I am wondering what advice by Marcus Aurelius relates to "just stay in the kitchen"? Best wishes, enjoy the kitchen.

  102. I have a lifetime of experience as a management consultant in a wide variety of business arenas. Treatment of women was an unresolved issue in every one of these companies, large or small, for profit or non-. The baseline was "benign"; comments at meetings assuring that the tiny minority of women were singled out as somehow other, not quite card-carrying members of the team. Sexual references were often obtuse ("I call her doe eyes") providing deniability ("It was a compliment, take it easy"). I came to realize that the more terrifying episodes occurred out of the way, in offices or cars. One woman began her story by dismissing the seriousness of predatory male behavior and going on to recount an incident of a man pushing her against a wall in a sexual assault attempt. I was astounded at the disconnect. How much of this goes on today? Who knows? I think "plenty" probably covers it. The ultimate answer is multifaceted and beyond my ability to formulate. I suspect it will begin with women assuming more positions of authority and more women being hired across the board, making that "benign" comment more and more unwelcome. One thing is for sure. Sexual predation and harassment are evils we are morally obliged to root out of our workplaces. Providing for one's livelihood cannot mean the surrender of even a shred of one's dignity or security.

  103. There is currently a series of related social phenomena where we attack each other and our allies because their behavior isn’t what we think it should be, isn’t as radical as we think it should be. When those with disadvantaged identities, from People of Color to women to LGBTQIA-identified people attack members of our own identities or cultures, or our allies, we do the work of our enemies and undermine ourselves. A recent news article talked about a group of LGBTQIA activists protesting Buttigieg made my jaw drop open and is excellent example of what I’m referring to. Apparently, these activists would rather have no such candidate instead of one that professed views that meets their standards (and will never be elected). They are aware that Buttigieg needs to get elected before he can enact the kind of change they want, right? And no person, candidate or ally will meet the criteria the most radical of us deems is acceptable. Talk about missing the forest for the trees. Plus, yes, he is trying to court wealthy donors – it costs HUGE amounts of money to run a campaign. Where else is the money coming from? In a perfect world, he wouldn’t need to do this, but we don’t live in this perfect world. Those activists should sign up to help him, not protest against him! We need to stand together and support each other, and our allies, first and foremost, however imperfect. Trump/Reps are united and ‘on-message.’ They are also laughing, delighted at our foolish infighting. .

  104. Thus, instead of criticisms of Ms. Fowler, just say, "Thank you," for doing the hard thing, for doing the right thing. Thank you for taking one to the chin for women everywhere. While this little post is nothing compared to the sacrifice you made on behalf of all women, please be assured that your actions are appreciated, deeply and profoundly, by this writer ! (hugs) .

  105. Thank you for speaking out. That took great courage and women and men have benefitted from the changes this will make to corporate culture over time. Change is a process but you started so many down the path. Thank you.

  106. The truth will always prevail even if there is a lag in the response time. Thank you for your courage Ms. Fowler. Employer abuse in the US can take many forms from sexual harassment, to the expectation that an employee's time 24/7 is owned by the corporation, unequal pay for women to age discrimination. Your actions brought reaction and hopefully have saved others at Uber from similar abuse. I was discriminated on the job because of age and everywhere that I turned for advice or assistance I was told that "there was nothing to be done about it in spite of the law". I wish that I had your courage and confidence.

  107. Kudos to Susan Fowler for informing the world the nightmare she experienced both in academia and at the workplace. She has given voice to those who cowered in fear but set them free through the power of truth. One striking professional parallel that I hope will inspire her: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn started out as a physicist, then became a writer and won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1970. May Susan Fowler have the last laugh by making it to the very top in her profession.

  108. As the old saying goes, "no good deed goes unpunished". I salute your courage and fortitude for doing the right thing in an era where integrity is subordinate to profit and ego. We can never let up. Accountability must be a core tenet of who we are as Americans. And as women, we can no longer accept being second-class citizens in the workplace. Calling out predatory behavior, discrimination, and lower pay for the same job has to be a relentless pursuit of truth and justice. Let's put the onus where it belongs: on the corporate management structures that turn a blind eye until the negative PR you-know-what hits the fan. Women are not pawns in a game to polish a company's reputation. Companies either will walk the talk, or suffer the hit to their stock prices when the next whistleblower exposes the bad boys for who they really are. For once it would be nice if the people who suffered consequences were not the victims, but the perpetrators.

  109. Ms. Fowler, Thank you for your courage. It helps negate the loneliness I first felt during past battles against injustice. This loneliness lingers like a scar on my psyche, and examples like yours remind me of its ever presence. Perhaps I retain this scar to help me remain vigilant to possible future instances, but it often feels like a very heavy weight, a kind of perpetual mourning for humanity's inability to realize its potential for goodness. I just concluded a 1.5-year battle at a state agency. There was no oversight from the state capital of our remote office, so a despotic manager wreaked havoc on the staff by creating a divisive and hostile work environment in which she rewarded personal favorites and belittled and punished everyone else, regardless of ability or productivity. The result has been mass staff attrition that has rendered the remote office unable to process the workload of applications from state businesses for funding they need. I, like you, had to persist despite upper management who either defended the perpetrator or who tried to placate my alarms with insincere platitudes. I was fortunate to have the support of similarly-harassed colleagues and of union representatives to help form a voice loud enough to be heard.

  110. Sadly, "that woman who was sexually harassed" is likely ambiguous in many or most offices of significant size. Which not only somewhat reduces your need for concern, and makes it all the more important that you speak out. Thank you for doing so.

  111. Ms. Fowler.... thank you for having the courage and integrity to “Do the Right Thing” We need many many more people in the world like you.

  112. Yes, we've "come a long way." But we've a long way to go. Stories like this should not be the exception, they should be non-existent. Instead they seem to be the norm in so many industries. If we had a just a few more leaders with the courage and honesty that Ms Fowler displays we could begin to eradicate abhorrent behaviors such as she reports. For heavens sake, even the president of the US brags about his conquests.

  113. “In the months that followed, my online accounts were hacked and I was the subject of rumors and smear campaigns. I was followed and stalked by private investigators. I was scared into silence, afraid for my career, my safety, my husband, my family and my friends.” Women who report harassment & assault need protection. This is nauseating.

  114. Susan - Thank you for speaking up. I’m sorry it caused you such personal grief. I hope the fact that you inspired many more to draw attention to this ubiquitous problem and demand change gives you some measure of peace and healing. I started my first job in 1968 and it is a sad comment that it is still the work of a pioneer, 52 years later, to call out toxic sexism in the workplace. The progress that I see is that now there is at least a defined route and existing laws with which to address this. The challenge, as with any whistle blowing, is withstanding the retaliation that comes when availing of those same protections and structures. We are making some progress but it should be easier by now. I’ll bet my grandmother had the same thought at my age.

  115. I was one of those that read your post in the first few days and i vowed then i would tell my daughter your story when she was old enough to understand. A lot of us have moments where we could make a difference. You didn’t stay silent and for that my daughter will have an easier time in her adult life than you did. I will always be grateful for your voice and your bravery.

  116. You did a great job awakening a lot of folks in the industry who had been otherwise asleep to the extent of the problems. I was one of them. Thank you for your courage.

  117. I attended Ms. Fowler's presentation at an Oreilly architecture conference and I was extremely impressed with her presentation. Then, a few months later, as her famous Uber blog came out, I was shocked that she had done such good work under such harsh and challenging conditions. Rising up against an established way of conduct requires such courage and fortitude: you have your pain and wounds, and then you increase them by looking at them through a microscope, and then you have to bear even more additional pain and wounds from the ones that are protecting their turf! To understand the roots of this behavior, we need to go at the school, college, family, and other sources that have shaped the toxic culture among the so called "management" that inhabit these companies -- the ones that are relentlessly egged by their "venture capitalists". The story of Ellen Pao vs Kleiner Perkins should provide additional material to consider, or suicides at engineering institutions like MIT that never are carefully analyzed for their causes and redress. But these are symptoms of a culture that need deep investigation. I am reminded that though Gandhi was thrown from a train more than 100 years ago, and that work is still unfinished. How do we create respect and acceptance of all, and strive lest not one so called "good custom" corrupt the world.

  118. Look, I have every sympathy for anybody facing a toxic workplace culture. I raised ethical, safety and legal concerns about certain senior healthcare individuals and came off distinctly worst. My mistake was believing that, being an assertive, experienced, professionally connected male, I'd be strong enough to take them on. Hard to argue with an unblemished 25 year record. Mistake - a vile campaign of slurs; competence, substance abuse, dishonesty, triggered 'investigations of concern' designed to intimidate and, when these came to naught, that old stock favourite, allegations of 'bullying' were levelled. Toughing those out was one thing but actually carrying on doing my job afterwards in that environment was another. I was glad, eventually, just to walk away. So, 'they' won. But, forgive me, when reading stories as in the article, my antennae vibrate when it's claimed that X (behaviour) occurred more than once, across multiple disparate organisations, involving multiple sets of malefactors over multiple time periods. That wasn't my experience. The boundary between 'unattractive' and 'unacceptable' conduct is set very subjectively - and even functional, organisations end up employing unattractive individuals. Sometimes many. That's life. Live with it or leave. Still, this author doesn't wave the ultimate red flag where the conspiracy grows and grows. Soon as you read that the police, the courts and government are also involved, it's time to turn the page.

  119. @nolongeradoc Your wrote - "Soon as you read that the police, the courts and government are also involved, it's time to turn the page." It appears from the essay that Ms. Fowler didn't take her complaints to the police, the courts or government. But you are implying that if she had, and didn't get satisfaction, she would be a conspiracist - a believer in conspiracies. You seem to be painting female victims w/ a pretty broad brush.

  120. @nolongeradoc The treatment of women in the workplace *is* a conspiracy, that much should be absolutely clear to everyone by now. Just look at the salary & career growth "skew" between equally-performing men & women, and who (obviously) benefits.

  121. @nolongeradoc So your antennae, which means your gut feelings, are vibrating in the face of a carefully documented set of circumstances. Might we call that the triumph of wishful thinking over intellect? As for boundaries, why not err on the side of caution? If there is a shadow of doubt that what you might do or say will cause some distress to another, don’t do it (pace Nike). Sympathetic imagination, to quote Julian Barnes, would be an essential quality in a doctor, and any human person.

  122. Unfortunately most people are not brilliant like her and able to speak up and be heard - but I’m glad she has made a difference - fighting for the common folk - like you and I!

  123. Almost 30 years ago, when I was a post-doctoral fellow in an NIH lab, I filed a complaint with the EEOC. A younger guy, someone I had seen as a friend, didn't ask me to explain, didn't ask for details, but took me aside and said he wanted me to know how much he disapproved of what I had done. I'll never forget it. What a condescending twit. He's still in the same NIH lab. I sometimes wonder if his eyes have opened in recent years, or if he's the same condescending self-important twit he was when I knew him in the 1990s.

  124. Maybe we need to have longer sexual harassment training, even for some of the people commenting here. I know men hate it and feel it is a waste of time, but having clear rules is a good thing . and the training over the years has really cut down on some of the unintended but still stupid incidents. It is never acceptable for someone to ask their direct report out on a date (or whatever), and on the first day, this is obviously based not on some real attraction but having a hot report that has to read that email. There is some leeway for peers, like ask once and take no for an answer. But there is no hope of a normal healthy supervisor relationship after this ask. When this is brought to HR's attention, any normal company especially if there is proof, would severely reprimand and/or fire the manager. He has just taken a high value employee (recruiting costs can be 10s of thousands, no less a female STEM employeee) and turned them into a potential litigant for hostile work environment. Legally, that work environment has to be made non-hostile. So there is obviously something really wrong with this organization .. esp after multiple complaints. This guy should not have any direct reports and maybe should just be in Siberia or out on the street. The U Penn incident is similarly troubling. Not much info here, but to lose a promising female grad student due to the bad behavior of one or two people, or to allow group harassment .. shockingly bad. Susan, thanks ..

  125. An American hero.

  126. I am not woke, but this male behaviour needs to be shut down., preferably at an early age. The problem comes from men that are not use to being around women, and then put in a hierarchy. I also find awful behaviour is found in hierarchies that have the biggest financial payoffs - partner at a law firm, hedge fund, successful start-up. Hierarchy, power dynamics, money turbo charge a bad man into an awful man (Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Matt Lauer)

  127. What about Penn? Has Penn been accountable for what happened there?

  128. In my judgement the tendency for HR officials and other management level individuals to ignore, or even worse, to try and deep six sexual harassment claims is tantamount to the heirarchy of the Catholic church allowing the abuse within the church to continue. Sexual harassment is the type of abberant behavior that requires decisive action be taken promptly after being reported. Only those in responsible positions within the institutions can react quickly enough to bring immediately relief to those affected. A failure to act on their part should result in their prosecution along with the actual perpetrators.

  129. @AML Understanding that HR should, and in the best scenario does, advocate for employees, we often forget that HR’s ultimate responsibility is to the employer. If you haven’t noticed that HR is planning for the potentiality of your termination in the next breath after you accept a position you haven’t been paying attention.

  130. Thank you for your courage. I stopped using Uber when your story became public. I am surprised you didn’t enroll in public school when homeschooling ended. It is the right of every child in America.

  131. Thank you for your bravery. And congrats to you on becoming the amazing self-made woman you have become!

  132. So glad you spoke up, and so glad you have the intelligence and skill and integrity to do so effectively.

  133. Well-written post mortem on the entire experience that changed not just Uber, but entire industries of male-dominated, complicit organizations. The part of this that stinks to high hell is the aftermath. These are people that likely had no relation to Uber, assaulting the very decency that Fowler advocated for as she brought light to the indecency. When people see a woman, unrelated to their business or life, trying to make the world a better place, why do they feel the need to denigrate and destroy that person? Is the status quo that valuable versus morality?

  134. When will we see a spate of essays by men accepting responsibility for these assaults and predations? When the NYT only publishes writings by the women who have the courage to speak out, instead of a mix of writings by all people who create and perpetuate the culture of violence against women, the readership is led to believe that it is the victim's responsibility to solve the problem. Why are there no pieces by men whose experiences lead them to call for an end to sexual violence? to call for public admissions of accountability and privilege? To suggest how men can change their thinking? It is crucial that we hear voices such as Susan Fowler's, but people other than victims should speak up.

  135. I’m betting the NYTimes would love to publish writing from those responsible for creating, maintaining and protecting workplaces where these things occur and occur frequently But the same mindset that creates those environments, of entitlement and selfishness, impedes the acceptance of responsibility, in any deep or real way.

  136. Every time I read one of these stories I am reminded of my own. I remember my speechlessness when my superior took me to a distant conference room for my performance review and then, with my review on the table before him, suggested we go to a nearby hotel, since ”nobody knows what the lawyers do all day anyway.” I remember my fear, not so much of retribution but of marginalization, of being ostracized if I spoke out against this popular, well-placed figure in the company. I remember my fear I had done something to encourage this man’s behavior, how it must somehow have been all my fault. And I remember how I held my tongue—even though I was a labor/employment lawyer who no one would ever have accused of being a shrinking violet, even though I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the conduct directed at me was against the law, how I never said a peep until many moons later when I learned this man had propositioned almost every female lawyer in the entire department. Through the decades of law practice after that, as chief labor/employment counsel to a Fortune 50 company, my silence that day informed my view of almost every sexual harassment claim any employee ever made. To the male managers who would question the bona fides of delayed claims or of the additional claims the first one would almost invariably bring out, I would say, with searing conviction, “You have no idea what it to took for this woman to come forward at all, much less to be the first.”

  137. One should remember that HR works for the protection of the firm not the employee. Training videos are there to demonstrate that the company took harassment seriously. There are many bad managers that get away with all kinds of bad behavior especially if they are "high performers." Performance reviews are for the protection of the company not the benefit of the employee. It is useful and supporting documentation for deciding who to keep at layoff time or other terminations.

  138. One time, okay. Next company you go to, filing another complaint? I think this is a case of "Gee, thats a pretty dress" and " oh my God how dare you harass me like that. My dress is my business!"

  139. Thank you for going public.

  140. This has all the earmarks of a cult driven by one thing: greed. The idea that the way forward is through disruption is destroying our country.

  141. Whatever else Ms. Fowler has to say, let's be clear about something: The person who committed suicide was male. His suicide had nothing to do with sexual harassment. His wife blames intense work pressure. He was black and she says racism MAY have played a part but there is no direct evidence of that. He had worked his way up in the industry so race did not stop him from doing well and getting hired her there. The pressure overcame him. Perhaps Uber can be blamed, in his case, for creating a too-stressful work environment but many companies do, and most people do not commit suicide because of it. He clearly had other issues. Point is, to include him in this story of her accusations of sexual harassment without explanation is extremely disingenuous.

  142. In America, it takes no courage to claim victim status. America loves victims. In fact, “victimization” in America is the swiftest path to money, fame and special treatment. As I used to tell my clients, you better assume those with whom you deal, in all phases of your life will eventually claim you cheated, harassed, or stole from them - because many of them will.

  143. @Retired Esquire Your own comment is evidence that what you're claiming -- about the status of those being victimized -- is untrue. Victimization is a stigma. You've just shown us some of the ways that it is.

  144. I believe her manager hit on her and he should be fired if he was previously warned about it. But being followed by private investigators, constantly harassed and suicides strains credibility. It takes 24 hours for an engineer to get a new job in Silicon Valley. No one is going to take their life because they don’t like their job there.

  145. @Steven Douglas your cynicism is unfortunate; why do you not believe her account?

  146. Why am I still surprised that there are so many who believe they know better about how people should feel, react and deal with such difficult situations? Same mindset that says such harassment is no big deal ...

  147. Here's what I don't understand. When Ms. Fowler was harrassed in her physics program and again at Uber, it sounds as though she immediately reported that to the higher-ups. She doesn't say what the harrassment consisted of at the school. She does say that at Uber her immediate supervisor propositioned her via e-mail on her first day. Was there an intermediate step here, where she told the person no, that isn't going to happen? Of course she shouldn't have been subjected to anything that made her uncomfortable. But simply saying "No" sometimes recalibrates the situation. If not, then you complain. I also don't understand why she stayed at Uber for an entire year as the situation went from bad to very, very bad.

  148. @Linda She almost definitely stayed at Uber for a full year because anything less than at least a full year on a resume doesn't look good. This was her first job as a software engineer so she wanted it all too look good on future resumes.

  149. @Linda, When the person harassing and propositioning you is your immediate supervisor, the problem is much bigger than some random person propositioning you on the street or in a bar. Especially when the propositioning takes place the first day on the job. Just saying "no" to your immediate supervisor is not likely to "recalibrate" the problem - unless by "recalibrate" you mean "make worse." As for why she stayed a year: I imagine because it was a job she wanted and valued, and believed would be a good step in her career. All good, rational reasons. Plus, she needed the salary and benefits. Not so easy to walk away with nothing and face possibly several months of unemployment. That said, personally, if I received a proposition from my immediate supervisor the first day on the job - brazenly by email, showing he fears no consequences - it would be clear to me that this is a toxic workplace culture - and I wouldn't be back the next day. I've done this - and I know others who walked out on a job the same day or after only a few days. But again, if you need that job financially, and especially if you had been unemployed for months before, that would be a very tough decision to make.

  150. @Linda Thankfully, the oped's author doesn't have to explain her actions or decisions to satisfy your lack of understanding. It isn't necessary for an employee to tell a person in a supervisory role not to harass them. Harassment doesn't require consent or denial of consent to exist. Blaming the victim is easy and often a knee jerk reaction. Examining why we are compelled to victim blame is more productive.